Archive for February 20th, 2008


Oh my. NYT and now WaPo are both reporting on St. John McCain’s too-close relationship with an attractive young lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, back in the late 90s. Neither is willing to come out and say that it was a romantic relationship, but she was always around, and McCain was very helpful to her clients. His aides were spooked enough by the possibility of an affair to repeatedly confront the Senator and maneuver to keep Ms. Iseman away from him as he ramped up his 2000 presidential campaign. She was even “banned” from his office and told to stay away from him.

The NYT story also talks about McCain’s involvement in the Keating 5 scandal, his apparent attempt to atone through campaign finance reform, and his continuing close ties to lobbyists, like the ones who run his campaign and his Senate office. Alas, no mention of how he dumped his wheelchair-bound first wife for a 24-year-old heiress and used her money and connections to launch his political career…

My biggest worry here is that according to the Dan Rather Rule, if it turns out that if the potential sex scandal fizzles, then that automatically invalidates every other aspect of the NYT story, thus permanently immunizing McCain from any discussion of corruption or lobbyists ever again. It’s like the political version of double jeopardy.

(NOTE: The Dan Rather Rule works in reverse for Democrats. If any component of a Democratic scandal is proven to be true, then that means the whole thing is true.)

February 20th, 2008 at 11:53pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans

Why We Blog

Duty Calls

(from xkcd)

February 20th, 2008 at 06:57pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Comics

Nothing Is Ever Dubya’s Fault, Part 829

Once again, Dubya’s insistence on dodging responsibility is on full display, this time in Rwanda, site of the 1998 genocidal rampage:

…[U]nlike Bill Clinton, who came here in 1998 to admit he should have done more to stop the Rwanda genocide, Bush said he feels no guilt and harbors no regret over Darfur — except regret that others have not done what he has pressed them to do. He opted not to send U.S. troops unilaterally into Sudan and instead has tried to help assemble an international peacekeeping force that has yet to fully deploy.

“I still believe it was the right decision,” he said, “but having done that, if you’re a problem-solver, you put yourself at the mercy of decisions of others — in this case, the United Nations. And I’m well known to have spoken out [about] the slowness of the United Nations. It seems very bureaucratic to me, particularly with people suffering.”

He came back to the question of personal regret. “I’m comfortable with the decision I made,” he said. “I’m not comfortable with how quickly the response has been.”

So unilateral military force is a good idea when it comes to overthrowing a dictator who is no threat to our security, but not a good idea when it comes to stopping genocide. Good to know where our priorities lie. But the really brilliant part is that Bush says that he made the right decision, but everyone else let him down. It’s like when he was asked if he could think of any mistakes he had made during his presidency, and all he could think of was that some of the people he hired let him down. Mistakes are other people.

A large part of the decision process is understanding and anticipating what other people will do. Most decisions are brilliant if everyone involved does exactly what you want them to do, but real life never works like that because people are usually more inclined to serve their own interests than yours. Bush either doesn’t understand this or doesn’t care, and so he believes himself to be a brilliant decision-maker surrounded by incompetents and saboteurs, rather than a terrible decision-maker who lives in an unrealistic fantasy world.

How I yearn for reality’s return.

(h/t, yet again, The All-Seeing Eye Of Froomkin)

February 20th, 2008 at 05:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Wankers

Quote Of The Day

Once again, courtesy of Olivia Judson:

….[C]louds are, apparently, more nutritious than they look.

Kind of a low bar, really.

February 20th, 2008 at 11:46am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes

It’s On.

Sadr’s ceasefire is officially kaput.

Let’s see how much longer the Republicans and the media can maintain the pretense that The Surge is working if Iraq’s civil war reignites. Unlike bin Laden, I don’t think al-Sadr wants the U.S. to elect another Republican; I think he actually wants us to get out. And making the invasion and The Surge look like a colossal mistake is the surest way to achieve that.

Also, how interesting that the elections are scheduled for October 1. Was that planned so McCain would have lots of happy purple-fingered The-Surge-is-working images to point to?

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

February 20th, 2008 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,War

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